Sheamus, Hornswoggle and Velvet McIntyre; how the Irish have featured in WWE over the years
With the show rolling into Dublin tonight, here is a look at some of the Irish stars to grace the squared circle. Warning, some may not actually be Irish but everything else in professional wrestling is real. OKAY!
Tonight in Dublin, some of the WWE's finest will be strutting their stuff for their many thousands of fans inside the O2. With that in mind, we thought we'd look at the history of the Irish in the WWE/WWF and the Irish characters that have featured down through the years.
The daddy right now. Cabra-born Sheamus is a bona-fide star of the WWE these days and he's a pretty big name here too. He keeps his Irish heritage to the forefront of his day job, making random mentions of Brian O'Driscoll to befuddled American audiences while his Father Ted obsession is another frequent topic of conversation for him since he joined the organisation in 2009.
The 36-year-old, known to his Ma as Stephen Farrelly, is the current United States champion and the rumour in wrestling circles is that he is about to turn heel; that means go bad. If so, it will be interesting to watch but whatever happens his place as the most successful ever Irish wrestler is probably already secure.
The Belfast man had a long and fairly distinguished career in and out of the WWE organisation. After beginning his career in Ireland, he made the move to WCW in the mid 1990s before becoming part of the WWE when the bought the rival organisation just after the turn of the millennium.
Finlay spent over a decade with the WWE, winning the United States championship, just like Sheamus would later do, and he also introduced the world to Hornswoggle (more on him later).
Finlay is still involved with the WWE and he helped to train some of biggest stars in the organisation, like CM Punk and Kurt Angle.
3. Velvet McIntyre
While we wait for Dubliner Rebecca Quin (Becky Lynch) to make it through development by WWE, we will stick with Velvet McIntyre as the most accomplished Irish female star of the WWF/WWE. Her background is murky but her iMDB page says she was born in Dublin so that is good enough for us. She did grow up in Canada and she joined the WWF in 1984, earning the women's tag team title with Princess Victoria.
McIntyre would go on to win the women's championship too and, most impressively, she was involved in a bout at Wrestlemania II, one of the greatest of all wrestling's showpiece days, in 1986.
There she lost to the champ, The Fabulous Moolah.
Fabulous Moolah vs Velvet McIntyre / Nikolai... by ChasHall1
About as Irish as Tom Cruise's accent in Far And Away, Hornswoggle is billed as a fighting leprechaun so yep, he makes the list. Born Dylan Postl (he was not christened Hornswoggle but if JOE ever has a kid that is the leader in the clubhouse for the name) he arrived in the WWE in 2006 under the charming name of Little Bastard as a helper of Finlay, where he would jump into the ring and illegally assist him to batter his opponent.
Eventually his name was changed (good move) and he would go on to win the cruiserweight belt in his own right. His plots would then get increasingly bizarre, with allegations that he was Vince McMahon's love child followed by the revelation that he was actually Finlay's son.
Hornswoggle has been a fairly consistent presence on various WWE shows right up to today, proving surprisingly durable for a fella who is regularly in the ring with lads who are at least two feet taller than him.
5. 'Irish' Pat Barrett
Barrett may have wrestled in more odd places than anyone we have ever heard of. With spells in places like the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, he certainly saw the world with his work, but it is his time with the WWF, in the mid 1970s, that we are interested in.
He fought, and lost, a WWF title fight to Bruno Sammartino in 1975 and here he is in action against Dave O'Hannon later that year. It was a different world back then alright. We love the granny really getting into it.
Retiring in the mid 1980s, his wikipedia page contains one of the greatest lines we've ever seen on any bio. We don't care if this is true or not, it is bloody great.
'He also started taking bassoon lessons, but soon gave those up after almost choking to death on one of its reeds.'
6. Vince McMahon
Yep, the big boss himself is Irish. Well, sort of. The McMahon family are reputed to have come to the US in 1905 from Galway. By 1915, Roderick and Edward were running big boxing promotions in New York and they had branched out into wrestling by the 1930s.
Jess McMahon, a second generation McMahon, then set up the WWF in the 1950s and Vince took over the family business in the early 1980s, turning it into the juggernaut it is today.
He might have taken a serious hit in the financial breadbasket lately, but McMahon is still a very wealthy man and head of a massively successful business empire. Plus he gets to tog out and fight now and again, which most CEOs can't do.
Most CEOs don't have an employee unload a truck full of beer at them either though.